Journeys on my sprint

So this is just some Videos and Photos of my Journeys and happenings. Please see my other recumbent Greenspeed Page to.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Three day trip to France

Day 1

Our three day trip to France began with an 0530 start. A  couple of hours later and we were battling with the crowds of school children and booze cruisers to get a coffee and breakfast at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkstone. Sadly the much hoped for fried breakfast didn’t happen as the queues were just too long and slow. Driving onto the train, the skies were ominously dark, sure enough on emerging from the Channel tunnel in Calais the rain was lashing against the train windows. A quick hours drive down the coast brought us to the Bay of the Somme, another quick stop for a coffee at the Autoroute service station and we were on our way again to our B+B.

La Fermette des Pres de Mautort in Abbeville was to be our home for the weekend, we were welcomed by our charming host Sara who made us very welcome and ensured safe parking for the trikes in their garage.  Right on cue, the weather improved, so we loaded the trikes and headed out for a ride, joining the main road, we noticed a flowerbed that had been planted in the shape of a cyclist wearing a yellow jersey, it turns out Abbeville will host the start a Tour de France stage on July 2nd. We’d decided to try and do a reasonable but gentle ride, in the end we managed 50 miles, cycling through the undulating countryside and down into the flatter area around the bay of the Somme. The weather was still being kind to us, but it was very windy which made the going hard at times and not at all as warm as you would expect in June.  First stop was Saint Valery-Sur-Somme a charming town, apart from the cobbled streets, which were not so good on the trike. One expensive coffee later, we headed back towards Abbeville, this time taking the cycle path along the river. This was flat and very direct, been almost a straight line all the way to Abbeville.

Abbeville itself, was a town that had clearly suffered in the two World Wars, most of the town centre was composed of non descript  modern buildings. The only exception was the stunning Gothic cathedral of Saint Vulfran, which seemed to have survived in amongst all the destruction. Even so the wonderfully carved façade was peppered with shell and bullet holes and the whole rear of the building had clearly been rebuilt, such a shame. After the obligatory tourist shots of the Cathedral we headed off in search of dinner, in the end opting for a cheap and cheerful restaurant for chicken and
chips, followed up ice cream !



Day 2

A full days cycling today, we decided to head off down the river cycle path to Saint Valery as this gave us the quickest way back to the Bay area, it was still incredibly windy and overcast but at least there was no rain. From there we followed marked cycle paths towards “Le Houdrel” a spit of land at the end of the bay. The paths which largely ran alongside main roads were well surfaced, so apart from the ever present wind we made good progress, zapping past fields of inquisitive cows and the occasional French cyclist. At “Le Houdrel” we stopped for some crepes and drinks, parking up alongside a Russian made Ural motorcycle and side car, I’m not sure which drew more attention.  Onwards then, the path taking us through the sand dunes of Brighton and into Cayeux-sur- Mer a rather sleepy seaside town, which appeared almost deserted.  A three course lunch was called for (well it is France !) as we worked our way through lunch, the clouds had burned off and we were treated to wonderful blue skies and sun. Suitably refreshed, we headed off through the sleepy lanes, slowly climbing up through the hills towards Abbeville. Despite having picked the area because it looked relatively flat, we faced a couple of long steep hills which called for the granny gears, on the plus side though this made for some great descents. Stopping in the shade at the top of one of these hills we were both attacked by vicious French flies, leaving us nursing itchy legs and necessitating a visit to the local Supermarché for soothing cream ! Not content with a huge lunch, we headed into town and finished off the day with dinner in a Belgian restaurant


Day 3

For once the weather forecasts had been accurate, light to heavy rain was predicted on Sunday and that’s what we got. As it was the last day we decided we didn’t mind getting wet so off we went. Because we had to leave mid-afternoon, we opted for a short ride, in the end just cycling along the other side of the bay to Noyelles-sur-Mer. Here we detoured slightly out of town to visit the Chinese Cemetery from the First World War. It made for an unusual site in the middle of rural France, with it’s Chinese style gate and the mix of Chinese and English on the headstones. The Chinese had been used as labourers by the British and Noyelles had been home to a field hospital specifically for them. Felling pretty worn out and wet we headed back into the town, having decided to follow a cycle path across to Saint Valery and then head off up the river to the B+B. As we sped through town, we noticed a rather inviting café, so we popped in only to find it was run by Pippa and her husband Peter from the UK. Pippa who was an artist used the rear of the café as a gallery, with the front being a bar restaurant. It was only 11 oclock, but already one of the tables was taking up by a local sipping on his eau de vie and watching the world go by, later he was joined by another who in between drinking his way through a couple of glasses of beer, did a passable imitation of the steam  train that ferried tourists around the bay. Having managed a plate of Scottish drop scones with jam and cream and a mug what was labelled as British Rail Tea, we headed back to the B+B with another 25+ miles under our belts. Then it was just a case of packing up and heading home to the UK


Great week end

****Video to follow, under construction***

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